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How to Show a Chicken in an Exhibition?

How to Show a Chicken in an Exhibition?

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Showing PoultrySo, what do I need to show a chicken in an exhibition? The chicken exhibition is no different from any other show. However, the main idea is to select the right representative of the chicken breed to showcase its positive attributes. After all the chicken show is all about recognizing an individual’s effort in presenting the best-looking bird. As an experienced chicken keeper, I can only encourage you not to be afraid of giving it a try. Although I’m pretty sure that the show can turn out to be a frustrating affair especially for newcomers. But you just need to be brave enough to get along with every contestant if you want to succeed.

There is more than meets the eye when it comes to preparing your birds for the show. The only important thing you need is the right chicken breed to get started. The rest follows suit as you carry on with the preparation. It is normal to get nervous and feel intimidated when taking part in these shows for the first time. To add on that, the sight of folks unloading trucks and trailers full of chickens can be intimidating, to say the least. 

However, when you start engaging the same contestants you will be amazed at how friendly and supportive they are. At least they will help you become courageous despite the outcome of the whole event. On the other hand, you don’t need fancy or expensive breeder chickens to enjoy the exhibition. Your backyard flock, regardless of their status at the show, will help you set your first foot in this championship. Below is a comprehensive guide on what you should do to show a chicken in an exhibition.

What Do I need to Show a Chicken in an Exhibition?

  • The first chicken show took place a few centuries back in London, in the year 1845. This idea came about after widespread bans on popular cockfighting sport. Ever since the popularity of chicken showing spread far and wide and even today different breeds participate in these shows. Don’t be surprised when you see thousands of birds in a single show. 
  • Clearly, the show is a platform to share and learn more about the right ways of raising and handling these lovely domestic birds. So, how should you prepare your chickens before taking them to the exhibition? Let’s find out!

Getting Started With the Preparation

  • The most important part of this preparation is the selection of the right chicken for the show. This is the main point of focus before anything else. Some products and tools might also play a significant role but you only have to begin with a good foundation. And this foundation is the choice of your chickens. 
  • Keep in mind that judges use what is referred to as “The Standard of Perfection” when carrying out their tasks. In this case, it’s prudent that you learn one or two tricks that judges use to determine the winning birds. 

Getting Your Chickens Ready For the Exhibition

  • Now that you are aware of attending the show, you need to get your chickens ready for their big event. The first thing to do is to clean them according to the laid down standards. 
  • The universally accepted technique to clean your chickens is by use of 3 tubs of water. Or you can use at least 5-gallon buckets to ensure that your birds are clean for the show. In your case, you don’t need to look for the 3 tubs to accomplish this task. Instead,  you can use any container as long as it has the right capacity equivalent to one tub. 
  • If you are using buckets, put dish soap inside the first one and fill the second with plain water. In the third bucket, place a capful of vinegar (preferably the white vinegar). Using the first bucket, wash your chosen birds and scrub them to get rid of dirt from their feathers and the rest of the bodies. 
  • In case your birds are the fluffy type, pay attention to their vents. Normally the vent attracts more poop hence the need to keep it clean just like the rest of the body. 
  • Once you have finished scrubbing and cleaning your birds, put them in the clean water bucket. While inside the bucket, ensure that you get rid of leftover soap and any other forms of dirt. 
  • Finally, place the chickens in the white vinegar bucket to remove all the bubbles. At this stage, you should be sure that your birds are squeaky clean and ready for the show. However, you need to maintain this type of cleanliness at least three days to the exhibition. This is important because it allows these birds to replenish their lost natural oils that make their skin supple and feathers shiny. 
  • After you have cleaned your birds, you must inspect them thoroughly to ensure that their feathers are uniform. This means the birds should not have discolored feathers by the time you are taking them for showing. In case you come across discolored feathers, just remove them to maintain uniformity. 
  • Likewise, ensure that all your clean-legged birds (those without feathery legs) have no small pin feathers on their feet. To maintain their cleanliness, you should consider separating the chosen chickens from the rest a few days before the show. 

What to Bring to the Exhibition along with Your Chickens

  • Once your chicken is ready for the showing, you need to make yourself ready as well. Apart from that, there are several items that you must take with you to the show. You might get discouraged by seeing what professional people bring to the show but that shouldn’t worry you. What is important is your comfort and that of your birds. For that reason, you may take with you simple items that are meaningful to you and your chickens. 
  • These products are meant to make your birds stand out from the rest. That being said, such items are crucial, especially in times of an emergency. For instance, if your chicken poop all over her feathers some minutes before the show, you will clean it quickly. To achieve this, you will need one of the items you carried to keep your bird clean throughout. Below is a checklist of the products you must bring along with you to the show:

A bottle full of water

  • It takes a lot of time, effort and creativity to show a chicken in an exhibition. In this case, you might need a bottle full of water for cleaning purposes. Besides, the water bottle will serve as a source of water for your chickens. Most of the shows will have several sources of water strategically placed where everyone can access them. But you need to have your own to feel comfortable and confident throughout the exhibition.  


  • You must be wondering why you need a toothbrush as one of the requirements to show a chicken in an exhibition. The work of the toothbrush is to scrub your birds’ legs to make them shiny and attractive. With clean legs, you can rest assured that your chickens will impress the judges.

Magic Eraser

  • As the name sounds, the magic eraser is necessary to remove stubborn dirt. This is one of the items that you will use to maintain cleanliness around your birds. 

Show Sheen or Argon Oil

  • This type of oil is necessary to give your chickens feathers a really shiny and appealing look. Argon Oil is easy to get, affordable and safe to use on your birds. 

Baby Oil or Vegetable Oil

  • Both of these oils serve the same purpose; to make the comb, wattles, and legs look dramatically colorful and adorable. This really makes a huge difference in such a show.

Paper Towels

  • These are important when it comes to removing messes and spills around your birds. If you don’t get the paper towels, you may use clean rags for the same purpose. 

Cotton Balls

  • Suitable for applying baby or vegetable oil to specific parts of your chickens’ bodies during the preparation for the exhibition. Also, these items are ideal for general cleaning.

Other items of great importance during the preparation for the chicken show include the following:

Related Questions

Which types of chickens are suitable for the show? Mostly, all exhibits prefer pure chicken breeds that are recognized and approved by specific poultry societies. Each country has its own society that determines the type of breeds that should be displayed at the exhibition. Therefore, it’s important to know the right breed to take to the exhibition.

What criteria do judges use to determine the winning flock? Regardless of the size of your chickens, it’s only the points awarded for specific features that decide the ultimate winner. The points determine the quality of your birds and their placing.

In Conclusion

When it comes to what I need to show a chicken to an exhibition, I consider the factors highlighted above. Most significantly, I will consider the right chicken breed before moving to other factors. Chicken shows need more preparation a few days before the big day. And that’s exactly what I have to take into account when getting my birds ready for these events.

Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Chicken Board!!

How to Show a Chicken in an Exhibition

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